Apple Patents Facebook Integration into iPhone OS

Posted on May 17, 2010 by

A new patent revealed today shows that Apple is working on adding Facebook integration into iPhone OS.  The patent is full of various workflows of adding contacts and social networking.  Facebook is being used as an example in the patent, but this could also be used for other social networking sites.  But not MySpace, I’m pretty sure that site is dead.

From Patently Apple:

Last Wednesday the Business Insider reported that a mobile industry insider confirmed to them that Apple was building Facebook features into iPhone OS 4. Perhaps “Apple’s new hooks into Facebook,” reported Frommer “will make this sync process part of the phone’s operating system and not just a feature of the Facebook app.” Coincidentally, a recently published Apple patent sheds light on this very subject under the scope of a fuller social networking application concerning various workflows including an “Add Contact” workflow and a “Social Networking” workflow which specifically highlights an exemplary Facebook example. This report covers Apple’s “Workflow” patent that is indeed presented as a possible future iPhone OS upgrade consideration.

Patent Background

Consumers frequently store many types of data on electronic devices, such as cellular telephones, portable media players, laptop computers, and personal data assistants. For example, consumers may store contact information, calendar appointments, to-do lists, pictures, and links to web pages on electronic devices. Due to the increasing portability of electronic devices, consumers frequently share data stored on electronic devices with other people. For example, consumers may exchange shopping lists or contact information stored on electronic devices over the Internet, through flash-drives, or over serial connections.

Typically, several actions are required to transfer data to and between electronic devices. For example, to create a new contact file, a consumer may perform the following steps: open a mail application, enter the contact person’s phone number and email address, select a ring tone, open a camera application, take a picture of the person, and store the picture with the contact file. The consumer may frequently repeat the same series of steps each time a new contact is added. The consumer also may need to instruct the other person on how to generate or transmit the requested data. Further, electronic devices may operate using different operating systems and software applications. Additional steps may be required to convert information on one device into a format compatible with another device. The series of repeated steps may be complicated and time consuming.

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